Texas Rangers: Opening Week in Review

Joey Gallo, Elvis Andrus and the Texas Rangers have to be happy with the start of the season taking two of the first three series. Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison

By Wiley Singleton

The Rangers opened their 2019 season against Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs.

Game 1 – Jon Lester was incredibly effective in the opening game of this series. Lester turned in a quality start. Meanwhile Mike Minor was shelled and gave up 6 ER. Elvis Andrus had a homer. Javy Baez was a terror in this game. Jesse Chavez, who had a stint on the Cubs last year, came in and was immediately smashed by Baez. Thankfully for the Rangers, they got to face former Rangers in the next two games. Loss 12-4.

Game 2 – Yu Darvish was a befuddled mess in his return to Texas. Darvish was extremely passive, refusing to challenge batters. He walked 7 and failed to make it out of the third inning. Edinson Volquez was below average. His start lasted 4 IP and he gave up 4 ER. Jeanmar Gomez gave up 2 more ER before Jeffrey Springs, Shawn Kelly, and Jose Leclerc shut the door on the final 4 innings. Joey Gallo had a huge homer late to give the Rangers a lead. Win 8-6.

Game 3 – Cole Hamels was ineffective in his return to Texas just like Darvish. The climax of the game was a massive grand slam for Delino DeShields after an epic AB against Hamels. Lance Lynn gritted out 5.2 innings. After that, Jesse Chavez came out and was awful just like on opening day. Jeff Mathis and Asdrubal Cabrera both had homers. Kyle Bird had a scoreless inning. Chris Martin gave up 2 runs in the 8th. Jose Leclerc had to come clean up his mess and succeeded. A wild pitch sealed the deal for the Rangers in the 9th. The Rangers take 2 of 3 from the Cubs, Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels are in playoff form. Win 11-10.

Series versus the Astros

Game 1 – Brad Peacock shut down the Rangers in the opening game of the series. Drew Smyly only lasted 3 IP. Adrian Sampson was killer in relief. He lasted 6 IP and allowed one run. Ronald Guzman had a homer in this boring affair. Loss 2-1.

Game 2 – Justin Verlander and Shelby Miller were both pressed effectively and did not last more that 4 IP. The teams traded runs in the early going, but Jesse Chavez came in and made things worse as usual. He gave up the lead, but thankfully Gallo had a clutch hit in the bottom of the 7th. Mazara also did solid damage in the 5th. Leclerc, who is quickly becoming the best closer in the AL, shut the door in the 9th.

Game 3 – The rubber match of this series was a bit of a shock for the Astros. They started Gerrit Cole who was actually outdueled by Mike Minor. Minor had been very ineffective in his opening start. Minor was excellent in this game though. His curveball had great break and he was keeping batters off balance. The Houston Astros became a bit vexed at the home plate umpire during this game, and there was a point at which AJ Hinch and a hitting coach were ejected. Shawn Kelly, Jose Leclerc and the Rangers won a close game 4-0.

Series versus the Angels

Game 1- After taking the first two series against solid teams, the Rangers went to the west coast to face Mike Trout and the Angels. Edinson Volquez pitched 3.2 decent innings before leaving with an arm injury. He has a history of arm injuries, and if it is anything significant fans should not expect him to return. Jeffrey Springs, Jeanmar Gomez, and Kyle Dowdy were solid in relief. Former New York Mets ace Matt Harvey was smoked by the Rangers attack. Joey Gallo had a huge 1st inning homer. Ronald Guzman had a homer too. Mike Trout had a homer, but the Rangers had a great day on offense. Win 11-4.

Game 2 – Lance Lynn was outdueled by Felix Pena and the Angels bullpen. The Angels bullpen has the lowest ERA in the MLB. Chavez managed to give up a run in his appearance. Mike Trout had two homers. Loss 3-1.

Game 3 – Mike Trout had 4 RBI and a homer in this one-sided game. Pujols also had a homer. Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a single for the Rangers only run. Drew Smyly got the loss. Loss 5-1.

Game 4 – Joey Gallo had a tremendous homer in this game. It was the only part of the game worth watching. It came early, in the 2nd inning. The Rangers wasted no time squandering the lead. Shelby Miller imploded in the 2nd and gave up 4 runs. A myriad of bullpen options closed out this one-sided game. Justin Anderson was the player of this game. He came in when it was still close into a messy situation and shut the Rangers down. Ronald Guzman tweaked his hamstring in this series and will miss a few weeks.  Mike Trout obliterates the Rangers to take 3 of 4. Loss 7-2.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
4/9   @Diamondbacks    8:40 p.m.
4/10  @Diamondbacks   8:40 p.m.
4/12   vs A’s                       7:05 p.m.
4/13   vs A’s                       7:05 p.m.
4/14   vs A’s                       2:05 p.m.